NorthStar VETS Cool Case Peliosis Hepatis

The team at NorthStar VETS is doing innovative and amazing things every day as they work to advance the level of care available to your pet. This series of posts highlights cool cases at NorthStar VETS and the types of things done to save pets and improve their quality of life. These are cases using innovative and cutting-edge medical techniques, and/or stories of pets beating the odds. This is an article summary from a case seen by Dr. Steven Berkowitz of the NorthStar VETS Emergency and Critical Care team. To read the full story (requires subscription or paid access to full journal article), visit

Article Title
Resolution of spontaneous hemoabdomen secondary to peliosis hepatis following surgery and azithromycin treatment in a Bartonella species infected dog

Case Summary
A 3-year-11-month-old 22.5 kg female spayed mixed breed dog presented for progressive lethargy and vomiting. An abdominal ultrasonographic examination revealed moderate ascites, which when sampled was nonclotting hemorrhagic fluid. An exploratory laparotomy revealed a large volume of nonclotted blood in the dog’s abdomen and blood-filled vesicular lesions dispersed diffusely along multiple lobes of the liver. Biopsies revealed lesions indicative of PH. Serology testing for Bartonella species was positive. Treatment with azithromycin resulted in Bartonella serology negative status and no further evidence of hemoperitonium at recheck examination 12 months after initial presentation.

This is a rare condition with a positive outcome for this pet. Read the rest of the article at

Learn more about the Emergency and Critical Care service at NorthStar VETS

Steven Berkowitz, DVMSteven Berkowitz, DVM
Dr. Steven Berkowitz attended St. Georges University and did his clinical year at the University of Illinois. Berkowitz joined NorthStar VETS after serving as the Chief of Emergency and Critical Care at another specialty hospital. Prior to that, he completed a three-year residency in Emergency and Critical Care medicine at the Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, NJ. His residency was completed at one of only a few recognized veterinary trauma centers in the United States. Prior to his residency, he was a staff Emergency Veterinarian at Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers, NY as well as serving as an emergency doctor at Animal Emergency and Referral Associates in Fairfield, NJ for 3 years. Dr. Berkowitz can be seen on seasons 5 and 6 of “Animal Precinct” on Animal Planet, which was filmed during his internship at The Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital of the ASPCA in New York City.

Dr. Berkowitz has special interest in the management of metabolic and endocrine derangements, trauma, as well as management of the septic patient.

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